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A current view of classification and sampling of terrestrial snails: A review

By: Javaria Altaf, Naureen Aziz Qureshi

Key Words: Gastropods, Taxonomy, Molecular markers

J. Bio. Env. Sci. 10(1), 191-219, January 2017.


The snails are second large and most successful invertebrates on the face of the earth yet remained ignored and unidentified due to the lesser interest of scientist. Due to this these have not been successfully documented in the Red Data Book. Out of 693 documented extinctions 42% are from Phylum Mollusca. The species delimitation is still an issue. The shells have phenotypic plasticity and variation due to which relying completely on the morphology of the shell becomes strongly confusing to systematists. The biochemical and molecular markers are important in understanding freshwater gastropod diversity along with morphological characters. However species specific markers have not been much explored in the field of malacology due to which most of the work in the last two decades reveals species characterization on the basis of RAPD markers. Still there are gaps need to be filled as there are many traits that are plastic and have been used in description of many species in taxonomic reviews and therefore are not very useful in determination of systematic relationships. The shell size is directly proportional with some ecological factors as well as geographical features. Species concept and sampling strategies needs to be reconsidered and redefined when studying land snails.

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A current view of classification and sampling of terrestrial snails: A review

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